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Volunteer for United Way Erie FREE Taxes

Through host tax preparation sites called Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, eligible tax filers are able to have their income tax return completed and electronically filed for free.

VITA sites are staffed by volunteers certified by the IRS to prepare basic and advanced-level tax returns. If you have former tax preparation experience, you are encouraged to consider this wonderful volunteer opportunity. If you do not have prior experience preparing taxes, training is provided.

Contact Cheryl Bates at 456-2937, ext. 236 or via email at for more information.

Register online


Volunteer Opportunities

Erie FREE Taxes Volunteer Tax Preparer

Roles, Responsibilities, Skills
Provide free tax return preparation service to eligible tax filers 
  • Attend required trainings 
  • Achieve IRS certification
  • Provide high quality tax prep assistance according to IRS regulations/requirements 
  • Uphold the highest of ethical standards
  • Interview tax filers to verify all income, and to ensure deductions and allowable credits are claimed
  • Prepare tax returns for which IRS certification was obtained
  • Utilize IRS resource materials throughout the tax preparation process
  • Prepare tax returns using program-designated software
  • Ensure no compensation of any kind is accepted for volunteer services 
  • Maintain confidentiality of all tax filer information
  • Ensure each tax filers understand their responsibility for verifying accuracy of tax-related information 
  • Maintain accurate weekly time sheets
  • Provide service to filers regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability
  • Basic computer skills
  • Pass the criminal background check
  • Complete all training; achieve IRS certification
  • Maintain confidentiality of all tax filers and volunteers
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Adhere to a 4-hour block of volunteer time per week, late Jan-mid April
Personal Qualities
  • Ability to work with diverse populations
  • Communicate in a non-judgmental manner
  • Honest, friendly
  • Dependable, punctual
  • Attention to detail
  • Pride in performing activities completely and accurately


Roles, Responsibilities, Skills
Provide coordination, organization and supervision for all aspects of assigned Volunteer Tax Program (VITA) site operations during the tax filing season, to include ensuring  quality tax preparation service to all taxpayers, competent service from all volunteers, and maintaining service standards set forth by the Internal Revenue Service and United Way Erie FREE Taxes. 
  • Minimum two years tax preparation experience; VITA experience a plus
  • Attend IRS training
  • Achieve IRS certification
  • Pennsylvania State Police clearance
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations
  • Computer literate
  • References
  • Obtain IRS certification in Ethics, Intake, Interviewing and Quality, Site Coordination, and Advanced level tax law
  • Complete TaxSlayer software computer training
  • Protect the confidentiality of VITA volunteers and VITA tax filers 
  • Conduct all necessary pre-service activities related to preparing assigned VITA site(s) for opening (Pub. 1084—IRS Volunteer Site Coordinator Handbook)
  • Ensure and participate in site adherence to all IRS Quality Site Requirements
  • Establish site protocol for gathering, distributing, and ensuring volunteer access to, and review of Quality Tax Alerts (online or binder with hard copies)
  • Provide tax return preparation services to tax filers as needed/scheduled
  • Perform quality review functions
  • Ensure free services are provided to all tax filers at assigned VITA site(s)
  • Provide drop off services to eligible tax filers, as assigned
  • Act as liaison between volunteers and United Way Erie FREE Taxes program director
  • Be present and available at assigned VITA site location(s) for the duration of each filing session throughout the filing season
  • Provide mentoring and ongoing instruction and guidance to volunteers regarding their performance
  • Ensure availability of site materials to volunteers (e.g. IRS resource materials, supplies, tax alerts)  
  • Maintain/verify time sheets for self and each VITA volunteer throughout filing season
  • Inform United Way Erie FREE Taxes of any taxpayer complaint that cannot be resolved during the tax preparation process
  • Monitor assigned VITA site(s) to ensure quality review is being conducted on each tax return, tax filer privacy is being maintained, and the Site Identification Number (SIDN) and E-fin are correct and appear on returns
  • Work collaboratively with United Way Erie FREE Taxes program director to ensure and maintain the operations of assigned VITA site(s) to include adequate volunteer coverage, and availability of equipment, supplies, and resource materials
  • Participate in an end-of-season volunteer recognition event 
  • Address volunteer performance issues
  • Communicate unresolved volunteer performance issues to the program director 
  • Conduct all necessary post-service activities related to preparing assigned VITA site(s) for closing (IRS Pub. 1084—IRS Volunteer Site Coordinator Handbook)
  • Adhere to Title VI by not denying service to anyone based on race, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability
Skills and Personal Qualities
  • Leadership/management skills
  • Respectful, kind, and courteous
  • Ability to engage, communicate, and work with others in a helpful and supportive manner
  • Friendly, dependable, flexible
  • Attention to detail
  • Nonjudgmental

Intake Greeter

Manages the flow of the tax site by handing out forms, answering basic questions and directing taxpayers to the next available tax prepare. Skills: ability to work with the public, dependability and flexibility.

(full job descriptions available upon request)


View Job Opportunities HERE